NCAA proposal for governance change

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Highlights from a proposal to change governance at the NCAA. The Division I Board of Directors is expected to discuss the plan Thursday:

- The five biggest football conferences - the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC - would gain more autonomy over a number of key areas, including funding scholarships up to the full cost-of-attendance (money beyond tuition, room and board, books and fees) and additional academic and career counseling. Approval would require two-thirds of the 65 schools in those five conferences. Nothing like this exists under the current NCAA structure.

- All 32 Division I conferences would have a say in any legislative matters that are not deemed “autonomous.” These areas would championship administration and policy, oversight of membership standards, proposals that require consideration by all conferences and management of sports or topic-specific studies intended to formulate recommendations for action by the council. Voting rights would be delegated by the new board to the council and would include two athlete representatives. The voting would be weighted, with the five conferences and their schools accounting for 38 to 40 percent of the vote.

- The board would continue to have 17 presidents or chancellors as members but would add an athletic director, faculty athletics representative, senior women’s administrator and an athlete to the voting bloc. The possibility of adding voices from outside college campuses has been discussed but is not part of the current proposal.

- The Legislative and Leadership Councils would be replaced by one 38-member council comprised of an athletic director, faculty athletic representative, senior women’s administrator or conference commissioner from each Division I league and two athletes with voting privileges. The steering committee is recommending 60 percent of the members be athletic directors.

- The NCAA would reduce the large number of current subcommittees to three: One focused on academics, one on competition and student well-being, and one to assist the council with its legislative role.

- University presidents would maintain their control and oversight function through the board of directors, but the council would focus on operational and legislative issues. In addition, the five power conferences would be better able to address criticisms regarding athletes’ well-being. Athletes and athletic directors also would have a louder voice in the process.

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